Gone thru this tread, I like to comments all most issues. I would like to focus on Caucasians expats.. not asian. (not a racist thingy but rather it's broadness of issues)
Several issues I picked in this tread are laughings/giggles, rudeness and racism bear most of the discontent while some posters don't. Where everyone would agree that racism occurs around the world - depending on history and whether you are a minority and majority, media/political propagandas or simply upbringing.
Singapore is not perfect, but you need to understand the local culture first. What seems rude and racist to you may not be for the local. In the first instance, you have to see yourself then judge others.
In what situation do you define being laughed at ? Is it the way you dress ? Outlook ? Different ?
Now you must understand that most teens grew up among asians, and have never associated with Caucasians before. I myself are guilty of this.. but giggling not laughing( may have seen as such ), but I was young and curious. Yes, It is rude... but have you consider the situation. Imagine I was chatting with my group of friends and suddenly saw a (Ang MO) in this place. What came into my mind was " Ah, they also know how to come here.. Ah" giggles, some to the extent of laughter, becuase of group mentality. It's simply of innocence. Also most Sg do not know how to react to something foreign or not expected, and simply laughed.. whats the problem... that's the culture.
Also, maybe it just the sensitivity of foreigners. I worked in a few companies which has some caucasians.. and I must say they are really sensitive. I was chatting heartedly with other colleagues, when one of them walked in. Immediately, our attention focus on him while still chatting, I smile and turned aroung and gave a innocent laugh.. just a habit really, common with many sg. We con't chatting with laughs and gigs in Cantonese. Suddenly, he just stood up and confronted us with an angry tone and simply walked off. See what I mean, and this happen regularly. We usually used english if another party are of other race are involved, but we are at a midst of a conversation. It also happened in another company at the factory floor, this time a Italian, who spoiling for a fight. Each time, it was they who walked in and not involve with the chat... just misunderstandings.
This is subjective issue. There are people who are just plain rude to whoever it may be. Sometimes caucasians have to look at themselves first. I have met foreigners who gave such distasteful and scorn looks that will receive inkind from me. Why should I be friendly with him ?
Other times, there are some who gives air of superiority.. this is common. I have a manageress from another department once who hate everything about asians, rude, show her distaste frequently and has that look err... I can say pure hatre. Her poor sg clerks were abused and over worked. The Manageress often disappear and only appear at meetings and datelines which she would throw it to them to rot, and her secretary would cover her ass waay too often. And amazingly the boss would take foreigners opinions over locals.. I mean seriously... locals worked like cows and with no recognitions. But I admit foreigners are articulate, and can talk their way out, because the boss look up to them even thought they don't work as hard. Mostly in adminstrative environment. Sorry, just generalising and I'm sure not all companies are like that. Some expat positions are tough like financial and engineering sectors are quite the exceptions.
Do you know that many locals, especially chinese, consider looking into a stranger's eyes is rude.. and might equates to a stare. Such incidents have often end in a fight. That's why some people would just walk avioding eye contacts. That's where all the bumps may have been resulted from. Observing people on the streets are ok, just don't look too intensely in the face area. I would apologise regardless whose fault it may be. I myself have been shoulded by afew times by foreigners too.. it was a delibrate act, they would check you out and simply walk away. The door swings both ways.
Hi Kennyboy: im studying here at an International School
in singapore. Im afraid to say its a daily thing. my buddies are fed up with it. Im fed up with it.
You cant spent a f day on orchard or tampines mall without this bloody grinning or laughing from locals; its d f annoying. we are aware of cultural differences and the fact that we are in a foreign country. what excuse is that: u are in a foreign country so dont judge locals if they laugh at u? we respect them, so should they? isnt it? im looking forward to leave with my family in 1 and a half years. it seems that you have to be a grumpy old man here to be spared this sh... guess they are not daring enough. its easier to target youngster right?
Have you consider your own outlook behavior ? How do you protray yourself ?
I am a police reservist who has patrolled Orchard rd every year. I can attest to the behavior and superiority facial language on many young foreigner in International Schools
. And had a few run-ins with them. I have group of american teens who snatch a taxi - right next to Taxi Queue, right infront of Centrepoint. The Taxi driver did not want to take them, and they kicked up a hell of a fuss. I went up.. asked them to stand aside and ask the driver to con't up the Taxi Kiosk. I turned to them and directed them to the long taxi queue, and shower me their international swearing skills. The Irony is.. they even brought up human rights
.. their rights over all the other people in the queue, which include foreigners.. WTF. I had the super urge to arrest them had not been a foreign tourist who ask them to leave.
It may be true that that some local deliquence do grin at them. Because of Jeslousy, because they view you as rich and spoilt... that's the common traits. Not proud of this, but a fact i don't deny... it is wrong. But have you look at the way some International students are behaving. Yes, nothing wrong with outgoing and carefree, but they are like in the world of their own as if they own the place. Asian are still very conservative. Again i'm just generalising. Many are not like that, it just maybe.. just maybe.. you are too focus on negativety and sensitive that's why it's so common occurence to you.. as of other issues as discuss.
Conclusion, If you looked hard enough, you will see what you expect to see. it's the same the world over. Some posters experience negativety what other posters don't. It takes many to make the world round. So, lighten up and enjoy your stay.